How many times do you check your Facebook News Feed or Profile page each day? Once or twice? Sporadically throughout the day, or just on occasion? For most of us, Facebook has become a daily habit and some people might even describe it as a full-blown addiction. As of February 2011, Facebook has over 600 million users and recent statistics show that 48% of 18-to 34-year-olds check Facebook right when they wake up. Sound familiar? If you think your Facebook activities are bordering an addiction, you may be ready for social media rehab.
Here are six ways to beat that Facebook addiction:
#1: Quit Playing Games
One of Facebook’s most popular features is the interactive games option. From Bejeweled Blitz to Mafia Wars, you could end up spending hours and hours just playing games to earn credits and points. For many people, playing games on Facebook is a necessary part of the experience. So much so, that 19% of gamers say they’re addicted to the social games, and 69% of these gamers are women. If you want to beat your Facebook addiction, begin by closing your gamer accounts.
#2: Start Tracking Your Time
Being more conscientious about how much time you’re spending on Facebook can also help you beat the addiction. Set a timer or watch the clock when you log in and out of Facebook and keep track of your time for a week. If you have gotten into the habit of keeping Facebook running while doing other work online, stop! Only open up Facebook when you are actually on Facebook, and keep a record of time spent on the site.
#3: Just Say No to Email Notifications
One of the most addictive parts of Facebook lies in the notification system. Whenever someone responds to a comment or posts something in a Group thread you’re subscribed to, the notification lands in your inbox. If you are using your email for work or other purposes throughout the day, getting these notifications could lead you right back to Facebook. Turn off the email notification feature during your Facebook rehab days so that you can have more control over your addiction.
#4: Make a List of Alternative Activities
What was your life like before you were so active on Facebook? What types of activities did you enjoy? Are you still participating in those activities, or is Facebook time consuming other parts of your life? Try and reconnect with the person you were before you were on Facebook. Throw yourself into a new activity or an old hobby to keep your mind busy on something else for a change. Making a list of alternative activities that you can do when the “Facebook urge” strikes could help you beat your Facebook addiction.
#5: Enjoy Structured Facebook Time
Schedule Facebook time into your day, instead of checking it on a whim. This will reduce the compulsive nature of the activity and make you less likely to get stuck on Facebook for hours on end. For example, you could give yourself 20 or 30 minutes of total Facebook time each day. Maybe you like to begin your morning with a Facebook fix, or end your day with some online social networking. Whatever the case may be, select a time slot just for Facebook and stick with the plan day in, day out.
#6: Clean Up Your News Feed
If you’ve been busy “Liking” lots of pages and have hundreds of Facebook Friends, your News Feed could be difficult to digest in one sitting. Monitoring that constantly-running News Feed can be addictive in itself. Use the settings to tweak your News Feed so that you are only getting updates from people and companies that you truly care about and could respond to. Leaving the stream “as is” could make it harder to actually keep up with anything that is relevant to you, and will also eat into your designated Facebook time. Be picky about what gets pushed out to your News Feed so that you can enjoy Facebook without it turning into an addiction.
AllFacebook.com: Jaw-Dropping Facebook Usage Statistics
Mashable.com: Obsessed with Facebook Infographic
AllFacebook.com: Facebook Games Statistics